The wood was cedar,
or was it pressure treated pine
when my soles warmed with July
& the slats cupped around
my heels like the dock that shoots
into the lake water near
our Minnesota cabin,
hue roasted beneath my feet
like peanuts & a campfire
crepitating between my father’s teeth,
settling in his rounded belly-
or was it just his embers
cackling when winter came?
Enlarging the soft kiwis
plump on his cheekbones?
I think his eyes were fresh dewdrops
on morning’s ripe carapace.
I walked through middle school
to the end of his jetty then fell off
cessation & I am still drowning
in the murky cold of his eyes
wiped of some pain-
most, of everything as they blinked,
& I am still squinting towards
the warped trees like discolored skin
stretched, inhaling blurs
across bark ribs & corrugated boards
wriggling worms atop his brows,
dirt dust & sun tangling up
the toned grooves of his arms into tubes
like a kaleidoscope skylight at his gates.
About the Poet
Danae Younge is an 18-year-old, biracial writer and a freshman at Occidental College. She has been recognized by the Live Poets Society of New Jersey and the It’s All Write international competition. Her work is also forthcoming in Mason Street Magazine, Rogue Agent Journal, Palette Point, and Academy of the Heart and Mind.
For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.